Wmi mm Jmmm wmmWm «V; ' Pass E ^ Book £^-=>- Sd6\ A DISCOURSE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ELIZABETH, N.J. DELIVERED IN THE August 6th, 1863, ON OCCASION OF THE PUBLIC THANKSGIVING APPOINTED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE KNIT Ell STATES, TO COMMEMORATE THE SIGNAL VICTORIES VOUCHSAFED TO THE FEDERAL ARMS. f ) Rev. DAVID MAGIE, D.D. DMD-fTorh : PRINTED BY FRANCIS HART & CO. 63 CORTLANDT STREET. 1863. ■6=*-* A S DELIVERED IN THE SECOND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. ELIZABETH, N.J. August 6th, 1863, ON OCCASION OF THE PUBLIC THANKSGIVING APPOINTED BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 'RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATJ^C^^' ^'tf* TO COMMEMORATE THE SIGNAL VICTORIES VOUCHSAFED TO THE FEDERAL ARMS. Rev. DAVID MAGIE, D.D. $M0-!orfe : PRINTED BY FRANCIS HART &. CO. 63 CORTLANDT STREET. 1863. Elizabeth, August 6, 1863. Dear Sir: The undersigned having heard, with great pleasure, the sermon delivered by you this day, on the occasion of the National Thanksgiving, ?ind believing that its publication will greatly serve the cause of truth and of the Union, do respectfully request, a copy for publication. Very truly yours. F. W. FOOTE. JAMES C. WOODRUFF. D. H. PIERSON, AUGUSTUS C. KELLOGG, A. W. KELLOGG. M. W. HALSEY, J. B. BURNET, .1. S. CRANE, J. W. PRICE. JOHN McCORD, WILMOT WILLIAMS. To the Rev. Dr. Magie. Gentlemen : Your request, though entirely unexpected, is especially pleasant to me, as it represents four of the churches of our citv, and I accede to it, not only as I am thus afforded an opportunity of leaving, in a permanent form, my views of public affairs, but because I hope to be of some little use to my fellow citizens, in removing misapprehension and preventing discour- agement. With sentiments of high regard, yours, DAVID MAGIE. Messrs. Foote, Pierson, &c. REASONS FOE THANKSGIVING. The right hand of the Lord is exalted ; the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. Psalm rxvm : lfi. As good citizens you have read and re-read the excellent proclamation of our Chief Magistrate. It has been your privilege to ponder with un dissembled gratitude to God, the wonderful successes which have recently crowned our arms; mingle your sympathies with the sufferers in this needless and cruel rebellion ; offer your earnest prayers that God would change the hearts of the insur- gents : and devoutly ask that the whole nation might be led, through paths of repentance and submission to the divine will, back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal peace. This you have already done and are daily T doing, but now you are assembled to perform the same duty in a more public manner. In conformity with the President's appointment, endorsed and confirmed by the Governor of our own state, we are assembled to join in a more open and emphatic acknowledgment of the goodness of God, and present our supplications for 6 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. the return of tranquillity to our bleeding and distracted country. The service is certainly called for, and the words just repeated, " The right hand of the Lord is exalted, the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly," give just such direction to our thoughts as they ought to take. Nothing could be more beautiful than the sentiment here con- i veyed, and nothing could be more beautifully expressed. It takes the entire glory of any good achieved from the creature, whose breath is in his nostrils, and who is not to be accounted of, and gives it where alone it is due, to the Creator. Only little more than three months ago, we were summoned as a nation to unite in fasting and prayer. Disappointments, delays and defeats had spread a degree of gloom over the public mind, so that men usually strong and of good courage, seemed for the time depressed; and this gloom was subsequently deepened by ;ui invasion, skilfully planned, and of most portentous aspects. But within the last five and thirty days how surprisingly has the tide of affairs turned. One exploit has followed another in such rapid succession that every patriotic bosom is filled with gratitude, and we are all ready to say to each other, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endureth forever. Serve him with gladness and come before his presence with singing." The message is specific, referring to the signal victories which God has lately vouchsafed to our army and navy; REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 3 but it will not be deemed amiss if, in the following 1 discourse, I take a somewhat wider range. My wish is to set before honest and thoughtful minds such reasons for gratitude as are suggested by the whole subject of the war. It is my design, in pursuing this course, to do what in me lies to decide the doubtful, encourage the timid, and lead all to see that we do well to-day to enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. 1. The Cause in which we are embarked, we have good reason to be assured, is a just and righteous one. It was not to oppress our southern neighbors, or wrest from them a single privilege guaranteed by the Consti- tution, that the sword was drawn in the first instance. Never was there a clearer case of simple resistance to aggression. We stand, in this respect, on a noble pre- eminence, and may challenge the world to prove that Ave are wrong. Were it otherwise, had we conspired against what are called the Confederate States, to arrest their course in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or had we neglected to fulfil towards them all the obligations imposed upon us by our National Compact, it would be but solemn mockery to raise a voice in thanksgiving to-day, no matter how great our successes. Examine the Journals of Congress from the beginning, including the whole history of Executive acts, and see if they do not furnish a perfectly clear record. Much, I know, is said by the South itself, and by south- ern sympathizers, of the oppression of the North, and we 8 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. need to pause, even at so late a day, to enquire into the truth of the constantly reiterated allegations. Did this dreadful war begin by those who struck the fatal blow in defense of their own rights, or was it a wanton attack on the rights of others 1 You have heard the only true answer a thousand times, and yet it is necessary, for the sake of disproving false assertions, to repeat it again and again. Recur, then, to the acknowledged fact, that the control of the government of the country had, for years and years, been almost exclusively in the hands of Southern men, or of those openly friendly to Southern views and inter- ests, and its patronage and power were wielded very much in accordance with their avowed wishes. For this end, and without pretense of disguise, compromises were made and compromises were annulled, lines of demarka- tion were drawn, and lines were blotted out. Concession upon concession was granted to soften the asperity, conciliate the regard, and prevent the execution of the threats of men who were forever affirming that they must have and would have what they demanded, or dismember this happy and prosperous commonwealth. Often was it foretold by the wise and the true, and now it is known to be a fact, that their purpose was either to rule or ruin, either to subject the nation to their own selfish designs or destroy it. The charge is a serious one, and yet the testimony to substantiate it is as clear as the sun in the firmament, and must be brought for- ward, for it sets the rebellion in its only fair and proper REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 9 light. That you may see that my language is no stronger than facts justify, let me turn you for a moment, to evidence furnished by a leading man of themselves. Mr. Stephens, since made the Vice-President of the Southern Confederacy, warned the Georgia Convention, called to consider the propriety of seceding, of the folly and wickedness of any such suicidal act. "Pause, I en- treat you," his very words are, "and think for a moment what reasons you can give that will satisfy yourselves, in calmer times, or what reasons you can give to your fellow-sufferers, for the calamities which secession will surely bring upon us? What cause or overt act can yon name or point to, on which to rest the plea of justification? What right of ours lias the North assailed ? What interest of the South has it invaded? What justice has been de- nied ns ? What claim, founded in right, has ever been withheld? Can any of you to-day, name one act, deliberately and purposely done by the government at Washington, of which the South has the right to com- plain? I challenge the answer. Now, to attempt to overthrow such a government, under which we have lived for three-quarters of a, century, and gained our wealth and standing as a nation, is a height of madness, folly, and wickedness, to which I can neither lend my sanction nor my vote." Remember this, my friends, when you hear men, northern born, and northern bred, excus- ing the rebels as an oppressed and injured people, bereft of their rights. No, it is not true, and no sophistry can make it appear 2 10 REASONS FOE THANKSGIVING. true, that the South is right and the North is wrong in the tremendous conflict, which is fast filling the land with widows and with orphans. Did I not believe in my heart, that the war on our part is a righteous one, entered upon strictly in self defence, not to encroach on others, but to uphold our very existence as a Union and a constitutional government, it would be no satisfaction to me to read of the glorious victories which have recently crowned our arms. Success based on fraud, and secured at the expense of trampling on the most sacred oaths and obligations, may dazzle and deceive for awhile, but in the end will come to nought. The people of the North declared their convictions in unmistakable tones, the moment they learned that the flag of the nation had been insulted, its treasures seized, its forts captured, and its authority set at defiance, and nothing has occurred to falsify these convictions. Not a few of those who had all along acted with the South, and were regarded, by way of emphasis, her friends, were compelled now by the sheer force, we trust, of honest reflection, openly to change ground. Thousands of the most earnest peace men were ready to say that the wicked strife could never, never cease until the stars and stripes of the old union were seen to float again over every city and fortress in the land. How was this, but from a conviction deeply fixed in every bosom, that the movement of the South was a rebellion of the worst possible sort, a rebellion against the most paternal government under heaven ! Subse- REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 11 quent events, and especially the slow progress made in subduing those who had risen up against us, united with the adoption of certain measures which happened to be distasteful, because they happened to strike at a few bold and reckless breeders of sedition, changed the opinions of some, who, perhaps, were never very hearty in the cause. But could these things, however inexpe- dient, change the nature of great principles, or make fraud honesty 1 If the war was forced upon us, as Vice President Stephens in another place observes, by ambi- tious and disappointed politicians, how could a few incidental stretches of power on the part of the govern- ment, alter the case 1 The President was elected in all respects, according to due form of law, and an attempt to dismember the Union because he was supposed to hold particular political opinions, could be branded by no softer name than treason. So it is called by thousands of pure patriots and good men, and so it will be called when this war shall only be known as pages of history, on which posterity will bring in a verdict. Most fully do I believe, after looking at the subject in all its lights, that it was demanded of us by a high sense of duty to repel the attacks made, just as a man ought to defend his house against the midnight plun- derer. And what is there in such a contest like con- scious rectitude, or as the Apostle better expresses it, the testimony of a good conscience, to sustain the mind in the hour of trial. " I had rather be right than be 12 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. President of the United States," was the noble remark of the great Henry Clay, and if we are only right in this fearful quarrel, we can bear temporary defeat and disaster, assured that in the end God will vindicate his ways to men. Is it not matter of -gratitude, then, that we do not wage war to destroy, but to preserve, not to dismember, but to keep together, not to overturn the government, but to uphold it? Were it not so we might well hang our heads for shame, and retire from this sacred place to smite upon our breasts and deprecate the anger of a righteous God. 2. Lessons have been taught us incidentally since the war began, of great and permanent value. Our country is now going through an experience which must tell upon us for weal or woe during ages to come, and there is good reason to hope that the effect will be happy. God is chastising us very severely for our sins against himself, if not against our southern brethren ; but it is in mercy we trust, and not in wrath, lest we should be consumed. Days of severe and pro- tracted trial, are often the very days which establish principles, which form character, which correct abuses, which remove prejudices, and which show men what is in them of both good and evil. Individual life never grows into its full proportions, in the midst of ease and luxury, and self indulgence; and the same is true of the life of a nation. War sets hard tasks and inflicts heavy penalties, but like the storms which agitate the REASONS FOR THANKSGINING. 13 air and destroy noxious vapors, it prepares the way for the enjoyment of a better peace, and a safer tranquillity. These troubles have taught us, for instance, as noth- ing else ever could, that government is of God, and that to resist it is to resist one of his express ordinances. It seems strange as we look back for a few months, that the people should have been so perfectly asleep on a point of such unspeakable importance.- Up to the very hour when the rebellion broke out, little was said, because little was thought of the clearly inculcated fad that submission to the powers which God has ordained, in everything not clearly condemned by the Bible, is one of the very first duties of Christians as well as citi- zens. Everything was going on so smoothly, that the pulpit was silent, and so was the fireside, and so was the school room, and so was the lecturer's desk. The ruled came into contact with their rulers at so few points, and these associated with demands on the one hand of so little consequence, and duties on the other so easily discharged, that the authority of government, as some- thing strong and tangible, and not to be resisted, was scarcely realized at all by one in a hundred of the people. With the single exception of making some change every four years, not so much of principles as of men, everything was suffered to go on very much in its own way. If the mass of the community might but buy and sell, and get gain, level forests, build ships. and lay railroad tracks, found cities, open new channels of trade, and fill still larger coffers, it seemed to be all 14 SEASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. that was cared for. But the first wanton blow at the authority of the government, compelled the putting forth of every latent power, in assertion of its preroga- tives. Men began to think that something must be meant, far beyond what they had given themselves the trouble to enquire into, by magistrates holding the sword in such a way, as to be a terror to evil doers, and a praise to those that do well. More has been accomplished in this short space of time to educate the nation in this fundamental maxim, than had ever been done before. We are learning a lesson, it is hoped, so as never to need a repetition, on the true limits between personal liberty, and the authority which every govern- ment on earth must exercise, or be guilty of the crime of suicide. All must go by the board the moment it is admitted that any one man, or any combination of men may decide how far they shall obey, and when they may begin to disobey. Again, as the war progresses we are all, whatever our political creeds or preferences, fast learning to correct mistakes, into which all alike had fallen. Many a fond theory has been toppled over into the dust by the rough logic of the last two or three years' events. It was imagined at the North that the contest must be short, inasmuch as we had a vast superiority in numbers and wealth, and especially as there was a whole race in the South to which war would bring, it was supposed as a necessary consequence, the hope of chains burst and privileges of freemen enjoyed. Almost every one imag- REASONS FOE THANKSGIVING. 15 hied that a few thousand soldiers summoned to the field, as on a kind of dress parade, would set matters right. Hardly could it be believed that three or four millions of people, with a single spark of true life in them, could be kept quietly toiling for men they called masters, while those very masters were exerting every nerve to establish an empire of which the perpetuity of bondage should be the chief corner-stone. Yet, so it has been. Equally mistaken were the people of the South in calcu- lating upon friends at the North to arrest the war at the very outset. It was their full belief, that they had such a host of cordial sympathizers in the border states, and even in New Jersey, New York, and New England, that it would be impossible for the armies of the Union to strike a, single effective blow. How could our money- loving people, said they, give up a traffic in which King Cotton figured so largely, and which was making so many merchants and manufacturers rich I But these illusions have been rudely swept away, on the one side as well as on the other, and it is perhaps matter of thanksgiving for all concerned to realize that it is so. Many a fog has been cleared off by the repeated tempests of the battle-field, never to settle upon us again, it is to be hoped, for generations to come. Let me name another lesson which loyal men, the land over, are rapidly learning, and it is to look upon the institution of neo-ro slavery in its only true light. So long as the South itself was content with privileges already enjoyed, and made no encroachments and 16 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. indulged in no threats, nineteen-twentieths of the best people of the North felt bound to be silent, though it was of necessity the silence of grief and tears. The responsibility, more or less, was not on us, and we could not rudely burst the bonds of a solemn covenant to make an onset on the peace of those whom many a hallowed tradition taught us to regard as friends. Slavery we considered as something local and municipal, to be suf- fered where it was, if so its patrons determined, but not to be spread over the land, with the privilege of reducing every square mile into subserviency to itself. But we have entered upon a new era, in reference to the colored man, and it has been opened, mark the mysterious prov- idence of God, by the very men who meant not so, neither did their heart think so. Not that we intend to become constitution-breakers, and do evil that good may come, but how altered is the face of things. It is a solemn fact, whether contemplated with pleasure or with pain, that two or three years of war have changed more minds in reference to the condition of this unhappy people, than half a century before did. The thing is done, and, what is more, the South has done it, and done it in opposition to every sort of entreaty and remon- strance. Many a wealthy man in Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina, as well as Maryland and Western Virginia, has been heard to say, "Well, if it has come to this, that slavery or the country must perish, then perish slavery, root and branch." God is working out, in his own wonderful way, a solution of the REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 17 mighty problem, and our part is to stand still and see his salvation. The poor creatures, even when called free, may be robbed, knocked down by bludgeons, hung upon lamp posts, and consumed by fire, but as sure as there is justice in heaven, these savage cruelties will hasten on the arrival of a brighter day. Such are some of the ideas impressed upon hundreds and thousands of minds by the progress of the war, and who will say they are not likely to remain ! It is im- possible to tell what a day, much less, what a month, or a. year may bring forth, but thus much is certain, it will be hard to recede, or fall again into practical indifference as to these grand fundamental principles which must affect the welfare of this nation through all future time. Points have been secured, eminences occupied, vantage ground gained, from which things will be looked upon in new lights, and seen under new and better aspects. No change of administration, no fresh combination of parties, no curious freak of political horoscoping, will be likely to turn back the nation's sun-dial, for either fifteen or five years. 3. Positive victories, which we hope will tend to restore the blessings of peace to our distracted country, have been gained. This is the end which every good and true man must desire, and the attainment of it, upon any just and proper basis, would fill the land with a universal outburst of thanksgiving. Not only are our leading statesmen la- boring to secure an object on every account so important, 3 18 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. but it is the burden of ten thousand prayers offered up from the sacred desk ; it is the rich boon entreated of God at millions of family altars, and, in closets without number, it is sought as a blessing of almost priceless value. The Country is agitated and needs rest; the sword is drawn, but why should it devour forever \ There are thousands of desolate firesides already, and who can wish them multiplied l It is solely with a -view to the returning quiet and tranquillity of this great and mighty nation, that we can hear of success gained, amidst the smoke, and carnage, and death, of dismantled forts, and sunken ships, and slaughtered multitudes, with expres- sions of gratitude to God. The result cannot be secured in any other way, it would seem, and if peace is ever enjoyed among us again, it must be purchased, sad to say, with blood. There are those, who either cannot or will not make a distinction here, and because we thank God for victory, they affirm that we delight in seeing the land filled with desolated habitations and new made graves. Let me set such people right/by a reference to the late Commodore Foote, a name which will be repeated in all coming time as that of a man who knew how to combine patriotism and piety, and whose loyalty to the flag of his country never led him into disloyalty to the government of God. I love to think of the gallant man, standing fear- lessly on the deck of his vessel, amidst a hail-storm of shell and ball, but I love even more to think of him, as supplying the place of a tardy preacher, rather than have REASONS VOK THANKSGIVING. 19 the people go away unfed with the bread of life. On one occasion, just before the actual breaking out of hos- tilities, the Commodore attended a religious service, held with special reference to the state of our public affairs, and was asked to offer the concluding prayer. After presenting petition upon petition, to the Father of mer- cies, that he would spare the land the horrors of civil war, if consistent with his holy will, he closed with these memorable words. "If thy purposes cannot otherwise be accomplished, let the sword, O Almighty God, have its way." The war hastened the noble Commander to his better In >me in heaven, but his memory is embalmed in myriads of grateful hearts, and will be fragrant so long as the sun and moon endure. Why may not a Christian minister speak of victories on the field of battle, and speak of them, to a Christian people, yea, and speak of them, as matters of devout gratitude to the ruler of the universe ? \> there nothing to be grateful for in the discomfiture of the proud con- federate legions by Rosecrans in Tennessee, and in the expulsion of the desperate invaders of Pennsylvania by Meade, and in the opening of the great Mississippi to the commerce of the West by Grant, Banks, Farragut and Porter I Are we to cherish no emotions of grati- tude, when such a marauder as Morgan is caught in his own net, and sent off with his whole staff to prison, as hostages for the proper treatment of better men I June closed upon us with clouds of almost midnight darkness, may not good people rejoice and give thanks 20 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. for the light which beamed out over the land as July opened ? For one, I am free to say. that I have not so read the song of Moses at the Red Sea, or the inspiriting notes of the martial poet David, nor have I so read the memoirs of our own revolutionary struggle, embracing a galaxy of fair names, both in church and state, such as the sun has seldom looked upon. But it is said, to repress our thanksgiving and abate our joy, have not those successes been purchased at the price of desolated habitations, and maimed limbs, and prematurely made graves 1 Does not the wife mourn for her husband and the father of her helpless babes, and the mother for the son on whose arm she hoped to lean in her old ace, and the blushing maiden for him who told her of the happy days they would have together when the strife should cease ? All this is true, and true to an extent which no eye but that of God can see. But yet, it may be affirmed with no fear of successful contradiction, that the price, large as it is, is not too large to pay for the sought for blessing. Man has something to do in the world besides merely building a house, and rearing a family, and making a will, and tying down in the grave. You reduce him to a condition of littleness and insignificance, if you disjoin his heart from the land of his fathers' sepulchres, and the government which pro- tects him, and the church where he worships. All this, I admit, is to be valued mainly because of its anticipated connection with the return of peace ; but in the mean time attendant benefits are secured of great REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 21 importance. Not to dwell on other things which must occur to every thoughtful mind, is it nothing that the hammer of the auctioneer in human blood and bones is no longer heard to fall in the District of Columbia, that Liberia and Hayti are recognized as kingdoms of the earth, that every foot of the territory of the country yet to be occupied, is to be held sacred for the abode of freemen, and above all, and more than all, that the idea is at length admitted, that man is a man, without respect to the color of his skin. Is it not well to know at last, that Grod has made of one blood all nations of men, and that all have one Father and one Saviour ? These points, thank God, are secured, and Avho will venture to affirm that they are not the product of seed which nothing but the storm of war could cause to germinate I Let peo- ple judge as they may about the expediency of some of the measures to put down rebellion, the hour is gone by, not to return again, when the discussion of such topics will be hindered whenever and wherever it is deemed expedient. Still, the question is asked, and asked with an air of triumph, what has the Administration done in thirtv months, with all its boundless appliances, to terminate the quarrel ? Less, it must be admitted in reply, less than might have been reasonably expected, and much less than they would have done had not our armies been sometimes entrusted to unfaithful and incompetent hands, and especially had not the wheels of government often been clogged by men in loyal States, with disloyal 22 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. hearts. It is distressing to say this, but truth impels me to say it. Let not the clamor of mere impatience of speedy results, or the animosity felt for the President or his Cabinet, close our eyes to things as they actually are. When the war began, we had neither an army nor navy, nor treasury; a debt of a hundred millions of dollars had been incurred, in a time of profound peace, eleven states openly unfurled the flag of insurrection while four more were held in doubt which side to take, and such was the bitterness of feeling towards Abraham Lincoln, that he had to go through Baltimore, on his way to Washington, in disguise, to avoid the dirk of the assassin. It was loudly and boastfully declared, that the new government should never be inaugurated, come what might. But, behold, what has God wrought X The four doubtful States are confirmed in their prefer- ence for the old Union, five of those which joined the Confederacy are controlled by the presence of powerful armies, and strong fortresses and footholds are possessed in four more, reducing the area of actual rebellion to less than one third of what it was at first. In the mean time we have built up a navy able to compete with that of the mightiest potentate on earth, and have an army equal to any emergency. If this, then, be true history, and if it be admitted that our national life and honor are worth preserving, we surely can find reason for the heartiest ascriptions of praise unto God. Only let the government go on with the advantage which mistakes and reverses have given, REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 23 in dependence on the blessing of heaven, and what may we not hope for in a twelve month to come I With the Confederacy as such, we have nothing- in the world to do, but with the States composing it, we may expect to accomplish much. If all auguries do not fail, it would not be at all surprising to find North Carolina, Louisiana and even Mississippi, soon following the lead of Western Virginia, and Missouri, to seek repose in the bosom of a Union from which they never had an earthly reason to withdraw. When that day comes, the few remaining gulf States may be dealt with and done with as well con- sidered policy shall judge wisest and best- There is therefore nothing left us to do, but go for- ward, and put down the rebellion at the earliest possible moment, and in the most effectual possible way. How can we falter now, when Cod has so manifestly answered our prayers, and our brethren in the field call upon us in tones of deep and tender earnestness, to share with them the sufferings and the glory of bringing the quarrel to a speedy close. It is the work, as I believe in my inmost soul, which Cod gives us to do, and to pause in it Would prove us recreant to the best interests of the land, and of the world. We have put our hand to the plow, not because we delight in the scenes of carnage and desolation, which always follow in the track of war, but because necessity is laid upon us, and every con- sideration that can be addressed to pious and patri- otic hearts, says, go forward until the last vestige of rebellion is wiped out, and the Union restored in all its 24 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. former glory and power. It is a burden imposed upon us, in the righteous providence of God, and posterity will utter no blessing on our name, if we do not bear it manfully. We owe it to the welfare of the disloyal States themselves, now almost utterly impoverished and ruined, to hasten the blessed consummation by every effort which strength and courage shall enable us to put forth. To pause, at the present juncture, and waste golden opportunities in harsh and indiscriminate condemnation of men and measures, is only to prolong the conflict. It is unquestionably our privilege, as American citizens, to disapprove of what we honestly deem wrong, and palsied be the hand that would strike this privilege down, but let us not forget that there is a broad distinc- tion between liberty and anarchy. A lesson has recent- ly been set us on this subject, in the chief city of the Union, which ought to suffice, for at least a century. Ambitious and self-designing men may learn from this new instance, that they cannot make harangues, in which the Chief Magistrate of the nation and the mem- bers of his Cabinet are abused in language of coarse and vulgar malignity, unlit to be repeated in a bar-room, without producing a woeful effect upon the excitable multitude. If they manage to keep out of harm's way themselves, others are urged on to robbery, arson, and murder, by the countenance thus given. No one can sow to the wind, without reaping the whirlwind, and the whirlwind once raised and started on its desolating REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 25 course, may reach the agitator, as well as the quiet, or- derly citizen. Archbishop Hughes is reported to have made a remark, in reference to the late riots in New- York, which cannot be too seriously laid to heart. "The men," said he, "who have been engaged in this work of desolation, are not half as guilty as are the demagogues who, night after night, have been lately addressing the most inflammatory appeals to their prejudices and pas- sions." It is impossible for the best government in the world to satisfy everybody, especially at such exciting times as those now passing over our heads, but surely it is wise to gather instruction from what has been, in order to determine what will be. Now, does not history tell tales about the tories of the Revolution, and the Hartford Convention men of eighteen hundred and twelve, which might be read with profit in our day ? If the Country ever raises monuments for her sons, believe me, it will be for those who stood by her in the hour of peril, and preferred her welfare above their chief joy, and not for those who deserted her standard, and sought to hinder the enrollment of her hosts. A few more well directed efforts, we hope, will end the contest, and shall we let the golden chance slip, by stopping to split hairs on certain minor points 1 We have had our times of ease, but now the command, as it seems to me, from the Lord of Hosts himself, is, "order ye the buckler and shield, harness the horses, stand forth with your helmets, fur- bish the spears, and put on the brigandines, and draw 26 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. near to battle." There is every -reason to believe, that a united North would soon witness a repentant and re- turning South. The people of the seceding states, as a mass, had no voice in unfurling the standard of rebel- lion, but we trust they will soon have a voice, not to be disregarded, in renewing their allegiance to the Stars and Stripes. There is one encouraging fact, encouraging to the men at the head of our affairs, as well as to those who fight our battles, and it is that the ministers of religion of all denominations, are so earnest and cordial in their patriotism. Never was it so before, at least to the same extent. With a unanimity perfectly surprising, have they sent up to the Chief Magistrate address upon ad- dress, pledging, themselves, before God and the people, to stand by the government, in this anxious hour, and give it their sympathies and prayers. If there be a few dissenting voices, as I am sorry to admit there are, they are only the exception to the rule. As for myself I early took ground, as you well know, which I have never since abandoned, and through the whole struggle I have never lost hope as to the result. Though the rebellion is gigantic in its dimensions, and waged with the desperate fury of men who are fully aware that failure will consign them to the ignominy of an Arnold, it will, with the blessing of Almighty God, be put down, and upon its ruins will a reinvigorated Union arise, to exert a more blessed influence than ever upon the destinies of the world. With heart within, and a a REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. 27 God above, there is nothing to fear. But let the issue be what it may, I am resolved,- as I shall obtain help from heaven, to adhere to the fortunes of my country to the very last. If I leave nothing else to my descendants, they shall never have it to say that their father dishon- ored his gray hairs by yielding to the demands of men, who. in the very face of the most solemn pledges and oaths, are seeking to destroy a government which never did any thing else than shed blessing on the heads of its citizens. In the mean time be careful to do nothing, by word or act. which may tend to engender bitter feelings among loyal men, to whatever political party they happen to belong. Some of the bravest and ablest defenders of the country have been from the ranks of the so-called opposers of the administration. They do not style themselves Republicans, and yet on the vessel's deck, and on the field of battle, they have proved as firm as rocks for the nation's honor, and the preservation of the nation's boundaries. Give all such men your hands and embrace them as -good and tried friends. Insist upon no condition but love to the union, and a determination, at all hazards, to prevent its dismemberment, before giving them your confidence. Only let there be now a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull all together, and we shall soon have occasion to say. with an emphasis to which the late signal victories have furnished a happy prelude, " The right hand of the Lord is exalted, the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly." 28 REASONS FOR THANKSGIVING. This will give the wise and good of all lands fresh confidence in free institutions, and from one end of the world to the other, will arise a voice like the sound of many waters, Long live the Republic of the United States ! Amen and amen.